3rd Annual NICU Onesie Drive


Reno, Nev. (July 14, 2020) – Renown Health Foundation announced today a special delivery from Sarah Carmona Zink and her Dreams Foundation, donating hundreds of pajamas, receiving blankets, beanie caps, nursing pillows and more, as well as a check for $10,500 for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Renown Children’s Hospital.

For the past three years, Carmona Zink and the Dreams Foundation have staged a fundraising and baby item drive to give back to the NICU that took care of Carmona Zink’s son, Howie, during a difficult time for the family.

“Our NICU drive is inspired by Howie, who just turned 4,” said Carmona Zink. “He spent about a month in Renown’s NICU because he was born with gastroschisis, a condition where his intestines formed on the outside of his body. During Howie’s stay, the NICU staff was an extension of our family and cared so deeply for all of us. Our goal through this drive has always been to give back to those who gave so much to us, as well as provide a sense of normalcy to parents with babies in the NICU. During these unprecedented times, providing comfort and relief to parents is more important than ever.”

“As a pediatric intensive care physician, who is also a dad, and a new grandfather, I thank Sarah Carmona Zink, her family and the Dreams Foundation for their incredible generosity and compassion. Through the years, Sarah has done so much to support the Renown Children’s Hospital NICU team and other NICU parents- she does so with such joy and enthusiasm, and we are incredibly grateful to her for all that she does,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, Renown’s President & CEO.

Through this year’s donation drive, Carmona Zink collected the following items for Renown’s NICU:

 682 receiving blankets;

 532 pairs of pajamas;

 180 hand-knitted baby beanies;

 50 nursing pillows;

 8 sleep sacks;

 473 scent pads, which parents keep on their skin and then leave with their baby so he/she can be comforted by their parents’ scent;

 Books for siblings to read while visiting;

 Miscellaneous items such as pumping storage bottles, bibs, baby hand covers, newborn socks, mobiles, and nursing pillow covers;

 $10,500 monetary donation from the Dreams Foundation.

Dr. Max Coppes, Physician-in-Chief of Renown Children’s Hospital and Larry Duncan, Administrator of Renown Children’s Hospital add, “We are truly blessed with the support for the very smallest residents of Renown Children’s Hospital, some weighing less than a pound! Sarah and her family inspire us to remain devoted to the children we serve, knowing that the community is committed to our Children’s Hospital.”

“We look forward to this donation drive every year,” said Renown NICU nurse Jessica Bakke. “The work Sarah and her team do to collect these items is very meaningful to all of us. We don’t always have funds to purchase extra items like clothing, blankets and nursing pillows, so everything we receive through this drive makes a difference for our babies and their families. It is a wonderful gift to be able to offer fresh clothing and other much-needed items to help these parents.”

Greg Walaitis, Chief Development Officer for Renown says, “We are extremely grateful to Sarah and the Dreams Foundation for their generous donation to our NICU. Donations like these help ensure we have plenty of items on hand when our babies and their families need them. This donation allows parents with babies in our NICU to focus solely on their baby’s health, rather than material needs that may come up along the way. It is an honor to be the recipient of such an amazing act of kindness for the third year in a row.”